‘Local leather products market requires value add’

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BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes @SunZambian

MORE opportunities for quality Zambian leather products would present themselves once a greater emphasis is placed on value addition as markets rebound.
Zamleather General Manager, Richard Franklin, emphasised that there was an opportunity as a country to grow the local manufacturing portfolio during the current COVID-19 period.
“These have been challenging times for business no doubt, and some readjustments were implemented to accommodate operating in the new normal.
“However, it has also created room for innovation with a greater focus on our strong points and the opportunities that lie within our borders,” Mr Franklin said in a statement.
Mr Franklin expressed hope that while a delicate balance between supply and demand remained, markets would rebound.
He said Zamleather was positioning itself to take advantage of opportunities being created in Zambia’s mining, industrial footwear and Personal Protective Equipment markets, with the company increasing its production capacity while building on operational efficiencies.
With their Zamshu sub-division that produces protective clothing, safety boots (including a new quick release smelter boot), school and sports shoes as well as its famous Kaleza football boots, Zamleather is also the country’s largest leather footwear manufacturer.
He said as part of the value addition strategy, Zamshu had recently doubled shoe production capacity from 500 pairs a day to 1,000 pairs a day.
“The company intends to strengthen its foothold in the security wing and mining sectors – which are among the biggest footwear consumers in the country – as well as increase supply into the school shoes market,” Mr Franklin said.

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